Australian rugby player James Tedesco is being investigated by the National Rugby League (NRL) after he allegedly called out “squid games” to a woman of Vietnamese descent last week in Bondi.
The incident: Tiffany Trinh, 20, claimed that Tedesco approached her and a friend who were both waiting for a ride home outside of the Beach Road Hotel when he made the comment in reference to the global hit Korean show. He then reportedly laughed with the group he was with.
- While Trinh’s friend stood up to Tedesco about the comment, Trinh said he laughed and asked the pair, “Do you know who I am?” Daily Mail reported.
- “It was a group of about 10 footy boys, and I was pretty intimidated. It felt pretty bad being laughed at,” Trinh told The Sydney Morning Herald. “A 20-year-old tiny girl, waiting for a lift home and you have a bunch of guys come up to you and laugh at you for being Asian.”
The investigations: Tedesco, the captain of the Sydney Roosters, was cleared by the club which announced that the incident was a case of miscommunication.
- Both the Roosters and Tedesco claim that Trinh was simply nearby while Tedesco was discussing the show with his teammates.
- Joe Kelly, chief executive of the Roosters, announced that they “thoroughly investigated the matter” after coming across the allegations outlined in an Instagram post by Trinh’s sister.
- “There was absolutely no interaction between James Tedesco with this group of people. We categorically deny that anything untoward occurred,” Kelly said.
- However, Trinh said, “It was definitely him, no doubt, and the comment was undeniably directed at me, the intent was clear.”
- “All the fans idolize him, have posters of him. You can’t just let that slide,” she continued.
- The NRL’s integrity unit will be further investigating the matter. On Sunday, Trinh confirmed that a representative reached out to her to arrange a meeting.
- “I just want the incident to be acknowledged, and for him to be held accountable for his words and actions,” Trinh said.
Featured Image via Getty (left), “Squid Game” (right)